Daenerys’s Anger Is Justified. Her Actions Are Not.

What up, my esteemed homies! It’s ya girl, Nikkie, and I’m dusting off the blog to share my thoughts on “The Bells,” the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones as we head into the finale this Sunday.

I’ve been seeing a lot of articles lately that are against nearly everything that’s happened in this current season of Game of Thrones. From the way Sansa and Daenerys interact with each other to the way we were deprived of a tender goodbye between Jon and Ghost (which is so, so, so valid that none of us will ever forgive showrunners David and Dan, aka D&D), people have taken issue with nearly every major or minor event that’s we’ve seen so far.

But nothing has caused more ire than how things with Dany are turning out. And I don’t think that’s fair at all.

A Shocking Twist, or a Fair Conclusion?

Last Sunday, the show reached the pinnacle of Dany’s arc: a seemingly permanent transformation into the Mad Queen. With the complete destruction of King’s Landing, Dany has cemented her intent to rule with fire and blood — the ominous words of House Targaryen. We’ve been waiting for the famed “Targaryen coin flip” to land, and it’s apparently landed on the side of insanity.

And people are furious.

For the entire run of the show, people have seen Dany as a feminist hero who deserves to have her ultimate goal — taking back the Iron Throne — accomplished. Ever since she emerged from her husband’s funeral pyre, naked with three freshly hatched dragons, she has been the epitome of taking control of her life. As she marched her way through Slavers’ Bay, liberating slaves and ridding the world of immoral rulers, viewers rooted for her with no qualms.

And that isn’t a bad thing.

Her story is absolutely one of overcoming the odds and finding triumph in upsetting the patriarchal system that most of Planetos — how people refer to the world in which this story takes place — operates under.

But, anyone shocked by recent events hasn’t been paying attention to who Dany is at her core: a conqueror whose only real goal has been vengeance.

I’m not trying to take away from the good that Daenerys is done. When the show began, and as I read the books, I was a full supporter. I got into a lot of arguments with my husband about Dany’s attempt to rule in Meereen, when she banned the fighting pits. How could she be wrong? It’s such an unnecessarily violent tradition. When he suggested years ago that he suspected Dany would end up being the main antagonist at the end of the story, with her return to Westeros uniting the Seven Kingdoms against her, I was actively enraged!

But, I’ve since come around to his thinking. Because the evidence is outstanding.

(Please note: I’ll be drawing from both the books and the show to support my argument.)

The Truth of Dany’s Personality

Dany has always been a little cold, stubborn, and prone to an impulsiveness that leads to poor decisions.

Consider her reaction when Khal Drogo killed her brother, Viserys.

The sound Viserys Targaryen made when that hideous iron helmet covered his face was like nothing human. His feet hammered a frantic beat against the dirt floor, slowed, stopped. Thick globs of molten gold dripped down onto his chest, setting the scarlet silk to smoldering — yet no drop of blood was spilled.

He was no dragon, Dany thought, curiously calm. Fire cannot kill a dragon.

 — Daenerys V, A Game of Thrones

Her thoughts referenced the fact that Viserys always referred to himself as a dragon, often warning her not to “wake the dragon” by disobeying him. He was cruel and abusive (mentally, emotionally, and physically), and it makes sense that she wouldn’t care. There was a bit of conflict within her, of course, because Viserys was the only family she had growing up. But her overarching reaction was eerily calm.

Image still from YouTube

Hatching Her Dragons Was Rash, Even Thought It Paid Off

Speaking of dragons, while the birth of hers was truly awesome, she still WALKED INTO A FIRE with no real evidence to ensure her survival.

This is a crucial moment of change between the books and the show. It’s widely accepted that the only reason Dany survived in the books is because the witch she was burning in the pyre, Mirri Maz Duur, was trying to cast a protective spell on herself but it backfired (haha word play). Targaryens are not at all immune to fire. Several Targaryens have died burning alive — most notably her own brother, as well as King Aegon V, or “Egg,” who burned down a vacation castle, and killed many people, when he tried to use wildfire to hatch dragon eggs.

So, the fact that Dany is proven to be fully fireproof in the show — even her hair survives the fire, when it was fully burned away in the book — is an invention by D&D. The reasoning most likely being that they wanted to imprint on us the idea that she is unbeatable and potentially immortal — mirrored in season six when Jon is resurrected after the Night’s Watch mutiny and then continually survives moments when he should have surely died.

(In the books, there’s also this situation going on in Meereen where a “bloody flux” is getting passed around in her encampments, and she walks among the people with no protection because the “blood of the dragon” makes her immune to disease . . . Girl, that’s dumb as hell.)

Her Dangerous Predilection for Death and Destruction

I’ve already covered how she burned Mirri Maz Duur alive, which was retribution for the death of Dany’s unborn child and Drogo’s catatonic state thanks to Mirri’s blood magic. This was the first of Dany’s fiery vengeance and a clear indicator of things to come.

Image found at Zimbio

Almost any obstacle that Dany has faced since her dragons were born has been met with fire and blood. In the show, she locked Xaro Xhoan Daxos (and a traitorous former servant) in an empty vault to die. She burned the slaver who sold her the Unsullied army. She ordered or inspired the ransacking of every major city on Slavers’ Bay. She crucified the Wise Masters of Meereen. In the show, to assert her rule in the city, she killed one of the remaining Masters by having Rhaegal and Viserion burn him alive in front of the other Masters.

She burned every Dothraki khal alive — which is a very clear reference to Khal Drogo’s death, as she emerges from the fire once again unburnt — and quelled the Wise Masters’ coup by destroying their fleet and armed forces. In the infamous “Loot Train battle” of season 7, she destroys the goods that the Lannister army plundered from Highgarden and kills a lot of soldiers in the process. When demanding allegiance, she nearly ends House Tarly because Randyll refuses to kneel (and his idiot son Dickon thinks it’s his duty to stay with his dad). And finally, in “The Bells,” she burns Varys for his treason.

Now, I’m not trying to say that all of these acts of violence are unwarranted. Takeovers are rarely bloodless — hats off to Jaime Lannister for his bloodless conquest of Riverrun, which is much less upsetting in the books by the way — so of course she’s going to wreck some shit. But the killing of the Wise Master and the execution of the Tarly men are taking things a bridge too far. It shows that Dany has little patience for people who don’t submit to her immediately (a trait she learned from Viserys, who became more and more of an unstable mess when the Dothraki didn’t immediately set sail for Westeros after Drogo and Dany wed).

Which is why no one should be surprised that she has alluded to killing Sansa for her refusal to relinquish Northern independence.

The “Right” to Rule

Image found at Vanity Fair

One of Dany’s biggest flaws is her continued belief that it is her birthright to rule the Iron Throne.

On the one hand, she’s right: the throne was stolen from her family, and as the last remaining Targaryen (to her knowledge), it’s her right as heir. However, the throne itself was created by her ancestor, Aegon I, whose only right to rule was the fact that he decided to take over Westeros and won. So, really, the idea that anyone has a right to be the king or queen of Westeros is questionable at best.

All that aside, while this belief began as Dany’s anchoring motivation, it has become a sick obsession. In the podcast Binge Mode’s episode on “The Last of the Starks,” hosts Mallory and Jason compare Dany to Gollum from The Lords of the Rings. The Iron Throne is her Precious, and she will pursue it at all costs, even if she dies trying to get it. The main difference being, of course, that she can’t even conceive of a future where she doesn’t win.

(She’s kind of like Cersei in that regard: willfully ignorant of her own mortality.)

What Is Her Actual Plan?

In addition to her inability to have a backup plan, it seems like Dany doesn’t have a plan at all. This applies purely to the show’s portrayal, as Dance with Dragons left off with her about to face the coming khalasar, Drogon by her side. But, the show has shown several instances where she put off discussing the future, choosing instead to focus on the progress of her conquest.

Obviously, one in the midst of a war should have their strategy at the top of their mind. But, Dany needs to think of political strategy as well.

To put it in the context of our political system, it’s like she’s come into the candidate landscape all sizzle but no substance. She’s got no platform and no plan for how to accomplish the (vague) promises she’s making. She wants to break the wheel—but what does that mean? And does she understand the clear contradiction of wanting to be the reigning power in Westeros while also wanting to do away with the way power is held?

At the End of the Day, She Doesn’t Know How to Rule

There are a lot of people who don’t like Dance because of all the political shadiness taking place while Dany attempts to rule in Meereen. She wants to already know how to be a queen before she returns to Westeros, and I don’t think anyone can argue against that desire.

The problem they have is that she is terrible at it.

I happen to love this about the book. It makes sense because, first of all, she’s only 15. What 15-year-old knows anything about anything? Then, there’s the fact that, behind the scenes, she is being manipulated and undermined by everyone around her (other than Barristan and this guy with him who isn’t in the show, Strong Belwas). There are the Sons of the Harpy fucking things up for her, there are “warring” Master houses that are likely conspiring against her—she’s even being given the wrong things to wear (clothing is a major aspect of station and occasion) to make her look even more like a novice outsider.

And not only is all of that happening, but the other cities in Slaver’s Bay that she “liberated” devolved into chaos the second she left. Yunkai returned to slavery, and the council she left in place in Astapor was murdered, with a ruthless dictator taking their place. As a result, EVERYONE hates her for her actions—so much so that the Yunkai’i lay siege to Meereen, as we see Tyrion, Varys, and Jorah trying to handle in the show after Dany is whisked away by Drogon.

There are so many reasons why Dany is failing at her first official attempt to be a queen, and she is blind to just about all of it. It’s so intriguing!

But, underneath all of that, there’s just the fact that she doesn’t know what ruling means.

She’s spent her time thus far being a conqueror. Her mission in Slaver’s Bay, while noble by our real-world standards, is akin to the Crusades: she uses war and violence to force people to submit to her way of thinking. As a recent piece by Bustle says, Dany is really a colonizer wrapped in a guise of feminism and justice.

The Breaker of Chains / White Savior Duality

A lot of people love Dany because of the only other constant in her arc besides wanting the throne: she is anti-slavery, and she actually does something about it.

As Khaleesi, she ordered the men of Drogo’s khalasar to stop raping the women they capture. (Sure, women are still being captured, but baby steps.) She freed Missandei and the Unsullied by killing the master who was going to sell them to her. She inspired or facilitated uprisings all across Slaver’s Bay. She certainly earned the “breaker of chains” moniker in her titles-titles-titles.

But, as that same Bustle piece brings up, it can’t be denied that the whole thing smacks of white saviorism. This white woman—and an argument could be made that the Targaryens/descendents of Valyrians are the purest white—is coming in and saving the poor people of color from their terrible lives.

Image found at Vanity Fair

Sure, Viserys sold her to Drogo, so she “knows” what it’s like. But she was the First Lady of the khalasar—and, you know, her family used to be royalty—so her capacity to understand a lifetime of servitude is pretty low.

Still, we as readers and viewers let it slide because we want her to succeed!

As you’ll remember, Dany grew up in Essos, a country with a very different set of cultural norms compared to Westeros. Moreover, her ancestors are from Essos; what remains of Valyria is actually around the corner from Slaver’s Bay. So, it’s not like Dany was on vacation, saw one slave girl, and decided she was going to save everyone. This is the only home she’s known, and she’s had a lifetime to build a moral code that drives her desire to end slavery everywhere. She truly cares about this cause, and we care about it too because we see her become a symbol of freedom and courage for many of the formerly enslaved.

But, what makes her a white savior—and as I think about it, I should’ve compared her to the US aiding in many a regime change in other countries—is the fact that she’s 1) barreling ahead without thinking of the consequences and 2) ultimately being self-serving by doing this.

In Dance, after she’s set up camp in Meereen, Dany regularly holds court. One day, a former slave comes to her and asks permission to become a slave again. Freeing him from his master left him homeless and hungry—something she clearly wouldn’t have wanted and obviously didn’t think about. So, she enacts a policy where slaves can return to their former masters provided the masters pay them a wage. This is a really good plan, and probably the only way to peacefully transition out of slavery. So, why didn’t she think of that in the first place?

Because her narrative is one of the championing liberator. She doesn’t negotiate with terrorists; she busts in and kills them all to protect the people. Or she inspires the people themselves to rise up and kill the masters.

She likely wouldn’t admit this out loud, but let’s call it what it is: good PR for her return to Westeros. Look at her, ending the barbaric act of slavery in a country that was built on it. Jorah was disowned and exiled from Westeros for trading in slaves. So, she’s showing her “roots” as a Westerosi-minded leader. That, in addition to her dragons and the army that chose to fight for her, must look so good to the Westerosi smallfolk who are tired of Lannister rule. After all, Viserys and Illyrio told her for years that so many people secretly hoped for the return of the Targaryens. So, this has got to work for her, right?

And, I’m not gonna knock her for believing them. Since she’s wrapped it all up in her real belief in the end of the slavery, it’s an easy pill to swallow. You just have to take it with some grains of salt rather than a spoonful of sugar.

The Rocky Return to Westeros

Image found at The Hollywood Reporter

Want to hear the craziest thing ever? Back in the early seasons of Game of Thrones, people used to complain about Dany being too perfect! Theoretically, her struggle to make a big, splashy return to Westeros should be welcome.

So, why isn’t it?

The Truth Fans Refuse to Face

The simple answer is that the show’s writing got sloppy, and her failures are made to look like someone else caused them (mostly Tyrion). The complicated answer is that a feminist leader isn’t allowed to have flaws, and whatever flaws she has can be smoothed over by the fact that she’s a pioneer.

(I won’t get into the following, because that would be a whole OTHER long post, but this belief is why people think Cersei is a feminist icon. She’s trash. The show has made her a bit more sympathetic, but in the books, she is straight-up garbage. She actively hates women and the fact that she’s a woman. Whatever. I’m not getting into it.)

I’m not trying to revoke Dany’s feminist badge by saying this. I really do think she believes in cultural equity (which is better than equality, by the way), and the patriarchal system of Westeros is a fucking disaster. See: the Dance of Dragons war, when a dying king named his daughter the heir to the Iron Throne, and her brother was coerced into challenging her. Countless people have died because of the patriarchy, and Dany wants to fix that.

But she’s bad at it!

As detailed above, she doesn’t know how to rule. She assumes that people will hear her last name, find out about her devotion to freeing slaves, and just give her the throne. She is a MESS, and that has been woven into the foundation of her character since the beginning. And few people want to admit to that.

Dany Can Still Be Upset About All This

Now, just because Dany has consistently overreacted to her lukewarm reception—positively icy in the North—doesn’t mean she’s not allowed to be angry about it.

We’ve all felt that frustration of something not going according to the careful plan we’ve laid out. She’s experiencing this, just at a very extreme and personal scale.

Her attempt to undermine Cersei’s rule by capturing Casterly Rock failed because she (thanks to Tyrion) underestimated how much the Lannister family castle actually means to Cersei. She lost the support of Highgarden, the Iron Fleet, and the opportunity to have the Dornish armies join her cause at the same time. Taking back the throne was not off to a good start.

Then, there’s Jon, who has been crowned the King in the North, making him a rebel in her eyes. He shows up at Dragonstone, seemingly the first person to formally accept her as queen, only to refuse to bend the knee AND ask for help in the same breath. The nerve!

But, he’s a cutie, so it’s fine. He convinces her (as was really needed narratively) to put her plans on hold to fight the Night King’s army of the dead. While saving his ass from a mission that basically proved futile, she lost a dragon.

Despite knowing the great cost of her allegiance, the North—Sansa especially—doesn’t care for her. Here is another “Southern” ruler, in their eyes, who refuses to grant the North the independence it basically already has. This is very unfair of them! She saved the life of their king; was it really so crazy for him to bend the knee? (Yeah . . . but I don’t have time to get into that either.) THEN, she finds out that Cersei means to betray her, even though she was legitimately freaked out by that wight.

What a mess!

Image found at iNews

Dany’s feelings of frustration and her desire to lash out are completely valid; they’re earned. But, she’s come to rely too much on the devil on her shoulder, not the angel. And it may be because she has decided they are one in the same. To foster peace, she must create war, as James Spader’s Ultron said in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

A “Butcher Queen”

I know it’s so snobby to say that the books are better; I get that about myself. But in this case, the books really ARE better. First of all, we get to see the internal thoughts of all these major characters. Secondly, things unfold at a pace that makes sense. And finally, people remain very complex.

In Dance, as I said, we see Dany struggle with her rule in Meereen. She’s spent her time in Slaver’s Bay causing destruction and chaos (though the latter is unbeknownst to her), and she knows deep down that that’s not how one rules. When she takes Daario as a lover, they regularly get into fights because he thinks she should just take her dragons and blow everyone to smithereens. She doesn’t agree because she wants to be seen as a just ruler, not a “butcher queen.”

(We see this, like, once in the show, when Daario tells her that “all rulers are either butchers or meat.” But not nearly to the extent we see it in the books.)

Her desire to be a true queen is what leads us to support her. The problem is that she’s already made herself a butcher queen in the eyes of those who oppose her. So, that concept is already out there. And not only that, but there’s been a major turn away from magic in Westeros. This had been going on since the last of the dragons died out.

Dragons are, like, the poster children for the existence of magic. They’re also fucking terrifying.

Not everyone is going to be comforted by the fact that she has dragons. Especially Drogon, who can only be described as a loose fire cannon—he’s basically Charizard from the first Pokemon season, throwing temper tantrums and never listening. And when the smallfolk hear that she uses those dragons to get what she wants on a regular basis, they’re going to react appropriately: they’re going to fear her.

So, while the show took a bad shortcut to get to that point, it’s now showing her the way the smallfolk would realistically see her: an invader with WMDs that can literally go and do whatever they want without her knowledge. We’ve already seen them go off script. Think back to the little girl that Drogon burned to death because, I dunno, he felt like it? A little girl who, in the books, Dany swore to herself she’d always remember to stay mindful of innocent lives, but by the time she and Drogon are approached by the khalasar, she can’t recall that girl’s name.


This is an apt comparison to where Dany is now in the show. She has forgotten the person she wanted to be—a queen who cares for the people by upending the system that keeps them down—in favor of what she wants—the Seven Kingdoms.

So, Dany has her throne, however briefly as the finale will surely see too. But, it’s come at a cost that, years before when she emerged from the fire as the Mother of Dragons, she wouldn’t have thought possible. She is mad, she is a butcher, she is a monster. And it doesn’t matter to her anymore.

Because she is finally queen.

Rewind the Realm: Season 2, “The North Remembers”

Hello all you bastards stabbed at your mother’s breasts, and welcome back to Rewind the Realm! I took a bit of a hiatus due to the emotional fallout of Avengers: Infinity War, but I’m back for more psychological trauma! Why do so many of the things I enjoy cause me such pain? No time for evaluation, I have a show to talk about. Let’s Go!

Robb of War 3: Robb, with a Vengeance

Robb whips his big floppy dick out in front of the captive Jaime Lannister and dares him to suck it. Jaime tries to act cool but you can tell he’s impressed. He reveals that he received Stannis’s letter about all the gross incest he and Cersei have been up to and deduces that this is why Bran was pushed and Ned was killed. Then he monologues about his plans for getting Sansa and Arya back and gaining Northern Independence by using Jaime as a bargaining chip. Then he lets Grey Wind get real close to biting off Jaime’s face. It’s a baller move and even Jaime respects it.

Then he decides to trust Theon despite Theon looking the way he does, and sends him to treat with his father Balon. Then he tells Cat to go treat with that vile traitor Renly to negotiate an alliance. Cat tells him he’s doin good but not to trust Balon. We the audience know just how correct she is. Tears are shed for future tragedy.

theondingus
The face of a man who can tooootally be trusted

On Dragonstone

We’re fiiiiiiiinally introduced to Iron Man himself, Stannis Baratheon and his red witch Melisandre. More importantly we’re introduced to the suavest man in the West, Davos Seaworth.

liamcunnilingusamirite
Don’t mind me, I’m just bein’ sexy

Stannis, being a curmudgeonly old bastard is curmudgeoning all over the place about life. He’s pissed off cus he’s the rightful king and nobody will accept him as such. He writes the letters about Lannicestgate and sends them out to everyone in the kingdom, inadvertently coining the term “spilling the tea.” Then he refuses to seek an alliance with Robb or Renly, despite the obvious advantages of doing so. Davos tries to talk him straight but he won’t listen. See: curmudgeoning.

Instead, he lets Melisandre burn all the statues of the Seven on the island and then burn a bunch of loyalists alive. Cus…strategy? Stannis isn’t really good at this whole king thing.

Stannis’s Maester Cressen doesn’t like Melly Sandy for obvious reasons and tries to poison her. But she drinks that poison like the bad bitch she is and doesn’t even flinch. Cressen poisons himself and dies. Melly pours one out for him and goes about her business. Like. A. Boss. I may not agree with or like Melisandre, but the witch is fabulous and she knows it. Respect.

Melly’s presence is here to let us know that just because dragons can kill White Walkers, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a better alternative. Fire kills as easily as ice.

Various Locations That Don’t Warrant Their Own Section

Bran has a dream about being a wolf and goes to the Godswood with Osha. Osha tries to ask about his dreams but he’s all sulky. They see the red comet in the sky and Bran says some people say it’s an omen for victory for Robb. Somehow Osha knows it means dragons are back. This is never explored again.

Beyond the Wall, the Night’s Watch stop at Craster’s Disgusting Incest House. He mocks Jon in ways that seem like foreshadowing but really aren’t. Jeor tells Jon to stay cool cus that’s what leaders do.

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Icky!

In Essos Dany is leading the remainder of her Khalasar across the Red Wastes, Moses style. Horses are dying, people are dying, the dragons refuse to eat meat. Everything’s bad. She sends three Blood Riders in different directions to search for refuge. Jorah stares at Dany a lot and it’s reeeeeeeeeeeeeeal creepy.

The Reign of Joffrey the Cruel

Joffrey kicks off his reign in style by ordering the execution of a drunk knight at his nameday celebration. Sansa, being way better at diplomacy than so many people give her credit for, convinces him to spare his life and make him a fool instead. The Hound swoops in with an assist to make it happen, but it’s all because Sansa was smart and bold at just the right time. I will fight anyone who wants to talk shit about Sansa.

 

Anyway Tyrion arrives with the letter declaring him Hand of the King and Cersei shits her pants on the spot. He placates her by saying he’ll only be advising, then proceeds to unleash a sick burn when he finds out that she let Arya slip away, all but blaming her if Jaime dies.

Joffrey then confronts Cersei about Stannis’s letter cus even Joffrey is grossed out by incest. Then he has all of Robert’s bastards murdered, even the babies. It never outright says who ordered them to be killed. But we all know. The City Watch finds out that one bastard escaped with Yoren and is headed to the Wall. They find this out by torturing Tobho Mott. Literally the only smith capable of working on Valyrian Steel. In the World.

This doesn’t happen in the book because nobody would be stupid enough to torture the only smith capable of fixing your magic swords. Joffrey is not off to a good start.

And so Season 2 begins! I’m not doing the body count for this episode because it’s too depressing. I’m already depressed from Infinity War and YOU CAN’T MAKE ME. The show is still compelling, Stannis hasn’t yet been ruined, Robb is runnin’ things. Life’s good for now. I’m sure it’ll stay that way forever. See ya next week!

Probably.

Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “Baelor”

Hello all you nameless soldiers in an endless war and welcome back to Recap the Realm! We’re at episode 9, an episode number that never bodes well in this show, as we’ll come to find. This tends to be where the BIG DRAMATIC EVENT of the seasons occurs and it all started here with perhaps the BIGGEST DRAMATIC EVENT of the show’s entire run. Also this is when my Body Count Tracker of Ultimate Sadness ™ is going to become very difficult to update! So that’ll be fun.

Let’s go!

At the Lannister Camp

Tyrion (correctly) assumes that Tywin is trying to get him killed by putting him and the hill tribes in the vanguard. There’s a tactical reason for Tywin’s decision here but it’s still a flimsy justification for him trying to get rid of Tyrion. Tywin’s so dumb. I don’t understand everyone in Westeros considers him such a tactical genius. He’s basically just Zapp Brannigan, sending endless waves of soldiers to die until his enemies are too overwhelmed by dead bodies to fight. Fuck Tywin. Continue reading “Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “Baelor””

Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “The Pointy End”

Hello all you rebellious blood riders and welcome back to Rewind the Realm! We’re coming to the end of season 1 now and everyone is quickly rushing toward war because they can’t keep their goddamn white privilege in check. Detective Ned, having been betrayed by the skeevy criminal he made an alliance with, sits in jail plotting his next move when he’s met by an unexpected ally. And Jon Snow…Jon Snows. This is the first episode written by Mr. George “Har Har” Martin himself and it shows. It’s primo stuff.
Also I forgot to add Robert to the body count last time!
So, RIP Bobby B. Body count: 22

Now let’s get on with the recappin!

In the Vale

Catelyn’s pissed. She found out about Ned being arrested and asks why Lysa didn’t tell her, since she knew already. Lysa basically says she didn’t tell her because she didn’t feel like it. So Catelyn asks for help from the knights of the vale. Lysa refuses because she’s the worst and, despite being a major part of why the Lannisters and Starks are going to war, she doesn’t believe war is in the Vale’s best interest. And she wants to protect her weirdo son. Lysa is the worst. Catelyn leaves the Eyrie because of all this bullshit.

Continue reading “Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “The Pointy End””

Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “You Win or You Die”

Hello all you field dressed stags, and welcome back to Rewind the Realm where it is my TERRIBLE DESTINY to recap all the tragedies, triumphs, and downright irritating narrative choices of this, my favorite show. In last week’s episode Detective Ned had finally cracked the case and was going to confront Mayor Bobby with the knowledge of his wife’s betrayal, only to be waylaid by Sheriff Jaime and laid low by one of his deputies. Sorry for the mixed metaphors. This week we finally meet one of the most important (and overrated) players in the Game. But will Detective Ned survive to see justice done? Or will those wily Lannisters slip through his grasp? Let’s find out!

Jaime on the Run

Jaime, having fled from King’s Landing, goes crying to his daddy. He makes his way through a Lannister camp that is clearly already preparing for war, because Tywin has been looking for any excuse to kill some folks pretty much his entire life. Remember, this is a man whose concept of justice involves trapping the entire population of a city in a cave and flooding it, drowning every single person. How has no one called him on his shit yet? Seriously. Continue reading “Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “You Win or You Die””

Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “A Golden Crown”

Hello you BLOODY SAVAGES and welcome back to Rewind the Realm! Shit’s gettin’ good guys. I often forget how much I love the earlier seasons of this show and I’m worried how that’s going to affect my view of the later seasons when I watch them in such close proximity. No time to worry about that now though cus we have shit to do!

In the Eyrie

Tyrion wakes up in the sky cell, having almost fallen to his death. He’s cross, as one might expect. Those sky cells are fucked up. But I can’t help but wish I could spend like a night or two in one, just in case the stress and possibility of death would grant me superpowers. As tends to happen. Continue reading “Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “A Golden Crown””

Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “The Wolf and the Lion”

Hello all you Hill Tribesman, and welcome back to Rewind the Realm! There’s tons of excitement to be found this week as we have duels and dicks and dastardly schemes galore! Remember last week when I said episode 5 is usually a climax? Well, we’ve got a big one this week as Ned and Jaime finally throw down, Varys and Littlefinger flirt, and #dickwatch finally bears (disgusting) fruit!


In Winterfell

Bran is doing some lessons with Maester Luwin while they watch Theon practice archery which seems…cruel. Luwin knows how much Bran wants to be a knight; why would he make him watch people practice knightly things? He should know Bran’s gonna be distracted, especially cus he’s already moody about Catelyn leaving. Yeah, Luwin eventually says Bran can learn horseback archery like the the Dothraki, but he lets him suffer for a long time before that. And Theon’s bein gross and talking about his “lovemaking” skills in front of Bran. Shut up Theon. Continue reading “Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “The Wolf and the Lion””

Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things”

Hello all you simpering princes in a far-off land, and welcome back to Rewind the Realm! Due to circumstances both foreseen and unforeseen, I had to put this series on hold for a few weeks. But don’t worry, it was for good reason. We got a puppy! She’s adorable and everyone loves her, especially you! But I’m back and ready to run this show into the ground! In this episode: Ned plays Sam Spade some more, Arya smiles for the last time in her poor life, Sansa fails to grasp how much she needs her family, Viserys gets his ass kicked, and Sam just…oh Sam. Let’s do this! Continue reading “Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things””

Rewind the Realm: Season 1, “Lord Snow”

Hello all you snarks and grumpkins and welcome back to Rewind the Realm! This week’s entry was delayed a few days because REASONS NOW STOP ASKING QUESTIONS! In this episode Ned arrives and King’s Landing, Littlefinger pretends to be British, and Viserys gets a smack down. It’s good stuff. This is one of those episodes that basically just copies straight from the book which means it’s one of the stronger episodes. Plus we get a cameo from our good friend boobs. HBO loves boobs. Littlefinger loves boobs. The audience loves boobs! It’s a win for everyone. But with all these boobs on screen I can’t help but feel like we need to balance things out. #wheresthedick HBO? We’re officially on #dickwatch everyone. I’m sure this will be a great use of my and your time.

We start with Ned arriving at King’s Landing and giving some serious side eye to a guy who suggests he dress “more appropriately.” You don’t insult a Northman’s fashion, dude. That’s Rule #1. Rule #2 is Winter is Coming. Get this shit right. We get a great shot of Jaime posing in front of the throne like a damn fashion model and then he and Ned have a real aggro conversation where I can’t help but feel a little exhausted. Jaime, don’t throw the death of his family in Ned’s face and then pretend like you were getting justice for them; Ned, let Jaime tell you the reason he killed Aerys. Somehow I feel like you’d approve. I wish these guys would just have a civil conversation.

jaime
I’m too busy being handsome

Ned sasses the Small Council for a bit and they all act like he’s an idiot for being worried the crown is 6 MILLION DRAGONS IN DEBT. I’m pretty sure 6 million wasn’t even a number that was used in Medieval times. They’d just say like 60 thousand thousand. Because that much money didn’t even exist. Probably. I’m not a damn medieval scholar. Point is, why wouldn’t he be concerned about this? And why does he drop it so easily?? Ned! Buddy! Littlefinger is the Master of Coin, it’s literally his job to keep this exact thing from happening. Why do you trust him later? I don’t care how much you love Cat, Littlefinger’s obviously up to some shit.

Then we get this scene where Cersei gives Joffrey some really good advice about creating his own story since he’s the Prince and he can do that cus no one can question him. And then Joffrey has a really good idea about having a standing army. What is this shit where Cersei and Joffrey are smarter than Ned? Also we get a Keven name drop that won’t pay off for like 2 more seasons.

This scene cuts to one where Ned is playing the part of a put-upon single dad. He talks to Arya in a scene that is directly mirroring Cersei and Joffrey and showing how the values of the two families clash. It’s a really well constructed way of setting up the conflict and I love it. THEN ARYA ADMITS THAT SHE DOESN’T REALLY HATE SANSA AND I CRY FOR 20 MINUTES.

sistersister
Yaaas queeeeen

Then Cat gets duped by Littlefinger who in turn dupes Ned. The less said about this the better. I’m still hurting. BUT there’s a really great bit of irony when Cat is leaving King’s Landing. She playfully chides Ned about his temper cus he choked Littlefinger (yeeeeeah!) and Ned says she needs to watch hers. Cat’s temper leads her to arresting Tyrion and committing one of the greatest blunders in the series, Ned’s temper led him to distrust Littlefinger. THE IRONY OF THIS SCENE IS TRAGIC. And that last lingering look they share. Oh Ned. You were truly too beautiful for this world.

There’s a pretty tedious scene of Robert and Barristan swapping war stories that is saved by the presence of Lancel Lannister who just looks like such a…dingus in this season. He looks like that prince who won’t stop singing in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Then Jaime comes in looking handsome as all fuck and says that Aerys’s dying words were “burn them all.” This scene, paired with his earlier conversation with Ned really set up that there’s a lot more to that story. But we’re made to not think about it cus he pushed Bran out the window. George RR Martin is a sneaky sunuvabitch.

So I may have mentioned in the past that Dany and Jon are two of my least favorite characters. Jon especially in book 1. All the stuff at The Wall I just find pretty boring but there’s some good stuff here. Tyrion’s charm, Aemon, Jeor Mormont’s BRILLIANT facial acting when Aemon talks about how the Night’s Watch has become “an army of undisciplined boys.” Pretty much anything not doing with Jon cus all Jon does is sulk at the beginning. I get it, but I don’t enjoy it much. Especially when he just assumes that he’s gonna get to go ranging with Benjen. Why would he think that? He hasn’t even taken the black yet! Blech. But Tyrion does have what I think is a great summation of the ethos of the series when he says, “If you’re going to be a cripple, it’s better to be a rich cripple.” #highbornprivilege. #byeBenjen.

As far as Dany goes, not much happens this episode. We find out she’s pregnant, Jorah bros out with a random Dothraki and acts all suspicious, Viserys gets choked. The most interesting part about this is that we find out the Dothraki don’t believe in money. I’m actually fascinated by Dothraki culture, brutal as it is. Each Khalasar is like its own country and they’re all bound together by a common mythology. It’s really interesting. Wish we’d learn more about it than we ever wind up doing.

And lastly Syrio! He’s a delight every time he’s on screen. There’s some interesting character bits here – namely how every time Syrio turns his back Arya grabs the sword with both hands even after Syrio explicitly tells her not to. She’s still a child after all. And then Ned watching her first with amusement and then growing horror. Ned definitely has PTSD. It’s hinted at very heavily in both the show and the books and it’s incredibly subtle. I love it.

nedstarkptsd

One last thing of note: this is episode 3 and we find out that Dany is 2 months pregnant. Ned travels to King’s Landing between the end of last episode and the beginning of this one and Cat joins him in this episode soon after. So where are all the people complaining about jetpacks and timelines in season 1 huh? If you’re going to shriek about people traveling too fast in season 7 you have to apply the same logic to season 1. YA PRICKS!

Rewind the Realm: Game of Thrones, Season 1, “The Kingsroad”

Hello all you slimy catspaws with sloppy footwork and welcome back to Rewind the Realm! We’re doin it weekly here so don’t expect a fancy introduction every time. I am only a single man and can’t do miracles! Not yet anyway. The dragons haven’t been born and the old powers are still sleeping.

Episode 2 start with Dany and co. traveling across the Dothraki sea. Dany’s having trouble riding on horseback for so long and Jorah comes to comfort her. Immediately he calls her “child.” Jorah is gross. He already has a big ol’ herection for Dany probably, considering the way he looks at her in this scene and the fact that his next bit of advice is about how fucking totally gets easier. He might as well have said “especially with some practice” and waggled his eyebrows at her cus he won’t stop looking at her chest. You’re gross Jorah. Don’t mansplain away Dany’s aversion to being raped. Because that’s what’s happening right now. I’ll get to that in a bit.

Continue reading “Rewind the Realm: Game of Thrones, Season 1, “The Kingsroad””